tiptrot.com July 17, 2018

Consumer inflation less threatening in February, CPI shows

16 March 2018, 01:19 | Cedric Leonard

Price of Gold Fundamental Weekly Forecast – US CPI Data Should Trigger Biggest Reaction This Week

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The US consumer price index in February has kept its pace growth, indicating that inflation is creeping toward the Fed's target, and probably will not cause interest rates to grow faster than expected. Our forecast for February is 14.71%, which implies a 2.80pts increase in the Consumer Price Index to 251.2pts.

Excluding volatile food and energy prices, the CPI was up 0.2% for the month and 1.8% annualized, unchanged from a month ago. Risks like the higher minimum support prices (MSPs) for food grains promised in the budget, according to them, can push up the inflation in the next fiscal year.

The CPI report came on the heels of data last Friday showing a deceleration in wage growth in February as well as a downward revision to January's increase in average hourly earnings. January data was revised to show sales dipping 0.1 percent instead of falling 0.3 percent as previously reported.

US stocks opened higher on Tuesday as investors digested the newly released consumer price data.

"The broader story remains that of USA monetary policy normalization in the backdrop of an improving economy and a further decline in currency market volatility would only fuel more risk taking appetite", said Commerzbank's FX strategist Thu Lan Nguyen.

The Fed has forecast three rate hikes this year.

Other areas did see price gains in February.

Fed officials target 2 percent annual inflation based on a separate index, the Commerce Department's gauge linked to consumer spending.

While market consensus appears to have shifted in recent months to higher inflation expectations, we at Invesco Fixed Income have maintained our view that the recent spike in CPI was temporary and that inflation would remain near the lower levels we saw in the second half of 2017.

The Federal Reserve had targeted 2.0% to 2.5% inflation for years, and now 2.0% inflation is most frequently cited as the long-term goal. Over shorter horizons, the core CPI has accelerated.

Households also paid less for healthcare.

The cost of clothes rose 1.5%, meanwhile, to follow up a 1.7% spike in January, a surprising turn after months of flat or declining prices.

The energy in the USA appreciated by 0.1% in February, while food costs remained unchanged. February's "unusually soft" readings on shelter and medical care, the two largest components of the core consumer price index, are unlikely to persist, he wrote in a note.

Helping to keep inflation in check was a 0.5% drop in the cost of new cars and trucks, the biggest decline since 2009. The cost of airline fares rebounded after falling in February.

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